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EXCLUSIVE: Vijay Iyer Talks 'RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi' at Brooklyn Academy of Music (Dec. 18-20) and Prashant Bhargava Silent Film

By Ian Holubiak i.holubiak@classicalite.com on Dec 17, 2014 12:13 PM EST

A Classicalite favorite, Vijay Iyer, has recently been experimenting with new sounds on his latest LP Mutations. And with an upcoming stint at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) entitled RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi from Dec. 18-20, Iyer is demonstrating that the MacArthur Genius' music is forming a language all its own.

The upcoming feature commemorates the 100th anniversary of Stravinsky's Rite of Sping. Iyer said of the performance: "The cycle of new works resonated with Stravinsky's Rite of Spring because it was the 100th anniversary premiere of that piece. [BAM] invited me to do a large project in that vein."

"I wanted to deal with Rite of Spring," he continued, "That happens in India, which is called 'Holi.' It's a big festival where people throw and shoot each other with colored powder. It's chaotic and messy but it's a spiritual, devotional holiday."

This piece, however, comes as a more modern take on the Hindu holiday and supplements it with a visual concept.

In association with brilliant filmmaker Prashant Bhargava, the BAM premiere of RADHE RADHE will be featured as a part of the Next Wave Festival in December and, also, will present actress Anna George as well as a live score performed by the International Contemporary Orchestra (ICE).

Commenting further on the piece, Radhe Radhe, Vijay said the title is "a phrase that people use in [the Southern region of India] as a sort of greeting or a sort of interjection or exclamation. It's an all purpose phrase that's about devotion to Radha, that was a human who became deified after her encounters and interactions with the god Krishna."

"It's sort of about moments of transition and springtime where everyone is considered in a relationship to the divine. That's sort of the basis of this project," he concluded.

RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi was created and commissioned by Carolina Performing Arts at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The piece is a two-part program and will feature the ICE as they perform alongside Bhargava's silent film.

The idea of change and transformation, thus, is the theme of the evening.

So get familiar below with Iyer before you get your tickets here. And be sure to purchase Mutations here.

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TagsVijay Iyer, Stravinsky, Rite of Spring, Prashant Bhargava, RADHE RAHDE: Rite of Holi, International Contemporary Ensemble, Carolina Performing Arts, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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